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Water Conservation


It may seem strange that we are being asked to save water when, at times, it seems like the rain will never stop! However, it’s not just the amount of rainfall we get that impacts on our supply of water; there are many other good reasons to save water:


  • It’s the heart of recreational boating.
  • Saving water can save you money.
  • Our changing climate is likely to leave us with hotter, drier summers, which could mean serious water shortages impacting society and the environment.
  • Taking water from the environment means there is less there to support wildlife. The Environment Agency has to carefully control how much water is abstracted to ensure that ecosystems are not damaged.
  • Treating water to make it safe to drink and distributing it to where it is needed takes lots of energy.
  • Treating our waste water also takes energy, and if the infrastructure gets overloaded, our waste water could end up polluting the environment.


There is currently no legal duty to conserve water but it does make environmental and financial sense not to waste it.


There is legislation related to water discharge and pollution which is detailed on our advice pages for Pollution Control.


Water Conservation:


  • The first step is to conduct a site audit to identify where and how water is being used. This should also highlight any maintenance issues.
  • Monitor your water bill closely and check your water metre readings are accurate.
  • Contact your water supplier to see if they can provide any tips or guidance on reducing water use or any water conservation tools such as a tap aerator or save a flush bags.

Low Cost Measures:

  • Check for and fix dripping taps and encourage users to report leaks and drips
  • Place a cistern displacement device in toilets to reduce water consumption. This could be a purpose made product such as a hippo, or homemade device such as a 1-litre plastic bottle filled with water. Water is saved each time the toilet is flushed. But do not use in low flush or dual toilets (often installed after 2000).
  • Install toilets with a dual-flush facility, with instructions clearly marked. These use only 6 litres of water as opposed to 10 litres for the conventional toilet
  • Install urinals with flush controllers or waterless urinals (these can save around 65,000 litres of water a year per urinal)
  • Install tap aerators wherever possible (reducing amount of water used by up to 80%) and watersaver shower heads which typically halve flow rates while still providing a powerful shower
  • Install automatic shutoff taps or timing devices which will prevent water loss from people forgetting to turn the tap off. Likewise coin operated showers will also limit water usage
  • Install flow restrictors on taps which will limit the amount of water discharged when the tap is fully open
  • Fit plugs into basins to encourage users to fill the basin rather than use running water – captive plugs will prevent plugs disappearing
  • Check for hidden leaks: read the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
  • Cover water tanks to prevent evaporation
  • Install trigger devices on all hoses to provide automatic shut off
  • Install a rainwater collection device outside your club buildings so that the water collected can be used for boat wash down. Ordinary garden water butts will of course be too small, but you can purchase 1,000 litre Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) which will stack one on top of the other to give you potentially 2,000 litres of rainwater. Purchase these in black so the collected water does not discolour
  • Consider purchasing products which score well on the water efficiency product labelling scheme

Higher Cost Measures:

  • Install rainwater harvesting systems to collect rainwater from roofs or large paved areas such as car parks. The collected water can then be used for toilet flushing or vehicle washing, boat wash down and watering plants
  • Reuse your grey water. Grey water recycling involves reusing wastewater from washroom basins and showers to flush toilets or water plants. In an office it will account for more than 35% of water use. Grey water from showers and hand basins is usually clean enough for flushing toilets with only basic disinfectant or microbiological treatment. Problems can arise, however, if the warm, nutrient rich grey water is stored, since it quickly deteriorates and bacteria multiply. This will also reduce the volume of sewage needing treatment. For those who pay for mains drainage, a reduction in sewerage charges may be negotiable with their sewerage authority


To find out more on how to conserve water see:

Related Resources

Club, Centre and Association

The Business Directory
Green Products and Services

More Guidance on
Facilities and Operations

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